Being Home

by Sonja Kramer Haag


I left in a whirl-wind. It was fight or flight and I was done fighting with my lonesome demons. The drive home was terrible. Not mentally, but physically. I tried to complete the drive as quickly as possible driving 20 hours in two days at one point only allowing myself 4 hours of sleep in my car. My skin was oily, my stomach in cramps, my eyes red and puffy and aching to shut, my mind racing. I trembled when standing, I communicated the least possible, I got angry and annoyed, crabby and impatient. Once I reached Minnesota, my body, my muscle memory took control and my mind was left in auto pilot.

My saving grace; the colors

Driving to the west coast and back I saw the changing of seasons with each and every mile, but there was nothing like the vibrant reds, yellows, oranges and greens that hang in the branches of the maple, oak, basswood and birch, that can only be found in the Midwest. My eyes were awakened and my soul transfixed.

I came home to a quiet house, a dog who had missed me and a bed, my bed; our bed. My mind was in a fog and my body and spirit exhausted. I lay down and slept with the ease and comfort that I can only find in a room filled with objects that I placed and that hold memories and meanings that only I can understand.

Phone calls rang in and texts were sent upon my homecoming. Greetings of “welcome home” and hopes of grabbing a beer and catching up were graciously accepted and scheduled. I wanted this all so bad while I was on the road. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell of my grandeur and adventure. I imagined countless ears, all mine, to whisper my stories into. Eyes widening at each appropriate moment, fair questions asked with interest and excitement and empathy felt. Though now, I find myself needing to keep separate from these lives that are so intimate with mine. The familiarity that I once talked about in “Going Home” now feels uncomfortable.

My soul has grown; it has taken its identity and expanded upon it. I feel as though I have come to a place within myself that, for as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be. I am comfortable with being who I am and I don’t contort passing stares as judgment and question. I can leave my home and be placed in a situation unusual to me and shape myself around it.

My challenges have shifted.

Always and again it’s a matter of time. Time to decompress and recognize my surroundings, time to place myself into my setting and grow back roots that I temporarily uprooted. Time to make time, to appreciate time and accept time.

And time to plan my next big escape…our next big escape.